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Writing, revision and the role of focused feedback

  • This thesis is concerned with an issue of considerable importance to the development of revision skills: the role of teacher feedback. Prompted by the concern to develop a model of instruction which will help students write to the best of their capacities, the present study forms a proposal: an interactive model of revision. The study researches whether the kind of feedback proposed in this model is indeed a helpful tool for revision and whether the kind of negotiated revision that occurs is a vehicle for learning. The first section of the thesis reviews different areas of literature which are relevant to the study. More specifically, Chapter 2 presents the historical and theoretical foundations of different writing instructional practices and sheds light on issues concerning the use of the process approach. It also reviews research based on sociocognitive theoretical perspectives in an attempt to delineate the impact of interpersonal or social activity on individual performance and progress. Chapter 3 examines issues associated with the process approach in particular and illustrates how theory and method come together in a process writing classroom. Chapter 4 presents the differences in revising behaviours between experienced and inexperienced writers in both L1 and L2 contexts and the various ways these differences have been justified. It also highlights a number of issues which have been identified as contributing to effective revision. Particular attention is paid to the role that teacher feedback has to play as a means of promoting substantive student revision with an instructional emphasis on fluency, organisation and language. Chapter 5 presents an interactive model of revision, which envisions a communicative exchange between two partners, the student-writer and the teacher-reader, collaborating in order to develop awareness of revision strategies and establish criteria for effective writing. Chapter 6 investigates the epistemological basis of the research and presents a set of research questions and hypotheses, which guided the investigation. Chapter 7 frames the context of the research and details the methods used to collect the data from the study. The study involved 100 Year 7 students in two gymnasia in Koblenz, Germany. During the time of the investigation, the students wrote and revised five tasks. Three of these tasks were revised after receiving teacher feedback, which focused on aspects such as appropriacy and sufficiency of information, organization, coherence and grammatical accuracy. The study investigates the effects of this kind of focused feedback on the students" revisions and explores the relationship between revision and text improvement. Large quantitative and qualitative data sets were generated during the research. The quantitative data was based on the student documents (1000 original and revised drafts) whereas the qualitative data emerged from student questionnaires and seven case studies. Chapter 8 presents descriptions of the data analyses. More specifically, it describes the initial and final coding of the revisions traced in the student documents. Then it focuses on the type of qualitative analysis employed in the case studies in order to investigate the relationship between revision and text improvement. The final section of the chapter describes the questionnaire analysis, which was carried out to investigate attitudes, benefits and constraints from the implementation of the model. Chapter 9 examines the statistical results from the analysis of the students" revisions. More specifically, it explores the revisions made by the students across tasks and the relationships between the features of the teacher feedback and these revisions. The analysis highlights patterns in the development of revision skills and positive correlations of student revisions with features of the teacher feedback. Chapter 10 looks at the descriptive data from the case studies of seven individual student writers. The analysis of this data illustrates how the specific students negotiated the revisions and sheds more light on the relationship between feedback, revision and text improvement. Chapter 11 contains the analysis of the students" answers to the questionnaire, which provide illuminative information about the feedback-related attitudes. In Chapter 12, the thesis reaches its final destination. The journey over the paths of literature exploration, data gathering and data analysis ends with reflections on the messages that emerge from the data analysis. The conclusion reached is that young students can learn how to revise their writing and focused feedback is a viable pedagogic option for teaching revision. In addition to discussing the findings, this final section considers the pedagogical implications for the teaching of writing and suggests possible avenues for further work.

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Author:Alexia Giannakopoulou
Subtitle (German):a study in the development of writing skills in the EFL classroom
Referee:Detlev Gohrbandt, Martin Pütz
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of completion:2008/04/14
Date of publication:2008/04/14
Publishing institution:Universität Koblenz-Landau, Campus Landau, Universitätsbibliothek
Granting institution:Universität Koblenz-Landau, Campus Landau, Fachbereich 6
Date of final exam:2008/01/15
Release Date:2008/04/14
Tag:Schreibtechnik; Überarbeitung
focused feedback; interaction; negotiation; revision; writing
GND Keyword:Interaktion; Schreiben; Verhandlung
Number of pages:298
Institutes:Fachbereich 6 / Fachbereich 6
Fachbereich 6 / Institut für fremdsprachliche Philologien
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 42 Englisch, Altenglisch / 420 Englisch, Altenglisch
Licence (German):License LogoEs gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht: § 53 UrhG